Telecash is a mobile money transfer facility that is provided by mobile network phone operator, Telecel Zimbabwe. The product offers great convenience to customers by allowing them to send money across all networks and make payments. When the product was launched, it was said that it was connected to Zimswitch which meant that giving it access to most banks. The product was launched on January 29, 2014 after other operators like Econet Wireless Zimbabwe had already introduced EcoCash
Affordability, Interoperability and other Features
One of the most talked about features of telecash was it affodability which was described by many commentators as healthy for the industry which could actually force other players like EcoCash to lower their charges. The coming in of telecash was also hailed as a positive move because unlike EcoCash, telecash allowed people that were not even on the Telecel network to receive money from Telecel subscribers. The telecash platform also allowed subscribers to be able to make bulk payments from the comfort of their offices.
The platform allowed people to make their bill payments through a bills menu to service providers such as DSTV, Insurance Companies and the Harare City council
Customers are also able to make bulk payments to their employees without necessarily having to go to the bank
Telecash gold card
The telecash gold card allows telcash customers to make purchases in the country which was a welcome relief considering the problem with getting small denominations change.
Telecash also allows it subscribers to buy airtime for themselves as well as for others who are also on the Telecel network
Commenting on the introduction of Telecash, Telecel Mobile Financial Services DirectorNkosinathi Ncube
They can receive, deposit and draw money without having to travel long distances to a bank. They can pay for goods and services without having to keep unnecessary amounts of cash on their persons. The bulk payments schedule can be uploaded, checked and authorised. There is no need to travel anywhere. Moreover the files can be run even at midnight. Telecash is very easy and simple to use, convenient, secure and above all competitively priced. It is also fast. Transactions conducted on the telecash platform are almost instant. We are taking advantage of infrastructure that is already there, which means utilising existing supermarkets, service stations, post offices and other outlets as agents or merchants. We are looking at having at least two agents at every key shopping centre or business centre in the country.
The spending limit per transaction US$ 500 and US$ 1000 per day while the transaction limit per month was US$ 5000.
Tension With EcoCash
Although telecash came in the business of mobile money transfer well after EcoCash had been launched, there have been various cases of alleged tansion and hostility between Telecash and EcoCash. In late 2014 it was speculated that Econet had made several attempts to lure employees working for Telecash by offering them double the amount of money they were being given by their employers. In the alleged case, it was reported that Econet was dangling double pay offers to software developers working on the Telecash platform. "Impeccable" sources at Telecel were said to have claimed that some of their employees were already tendering in their letters of resignation with the intention of leaving Telecash for greener pastures. Telecel was also said to have done the same move on Econet when they managed to scoop three of Ecocash's employees. Tendai Chirokote who was head of application development with Econet crossed the great divide and went to join Telecel as as the IT director while Isaya Clever who was brand manager corporate left Econet to head Telecel services.
Agents War with EcoCash
Telecash was locked in an agents war with EcoCash but Telecash won the war after the Reserve Bank ruled that mobile money agents should not enter into exclusive agreements with individual mobile cash payment system operators, saying the move was meant to curb monopolies in the sector. EcoCash had been refusing to share its agents with Telecash but was eventually forced to comply by the RBZ. RBZ national payments system senior executive James Mutepfa highlighted that
exclusive agent agreements had adverse effects on competition and could not be detrimental to the smooth operation of cash payment systems in the country
- LSM Kabweza Telecel Zimbabwe’s Telecash launch: the press release, TechZim, Published: 29 January 2014, Retrieved: January 12, 2015
- Telecel launches telecash, Telecel, Published: January 29, 2014, Retrieved: January 12, 2015
- Tonderai Rutsito Econet offers Telecash employees double salary, The Herald, Published: August 20, 2014, Retrieved: January 12, 2015
- Telecash wins agents war with Ecocash, Business Daily, Published: March 3, 2014, Retrieved: January 12, 2015